Restless leg syndrome (RLS) affects approximately 10 percent of the populace, with onset commonly occurring among woman in their 50s. RLS involves moving the legs constantly — seeking relief from pains, twitching, burning, crawling, tingling and unease — all made worse when you’re lying still in bed.
There is no known conventional treatment for restless leg syndrome; however, certain home remedies and alternative treatments often provide relief.
Rhus tox: People needing Rhus tox often experience joint and muscle pain with stiffness. The person may be extremely restless, anxious, suspicious and depressed — symptoms being worse at night and when lying still, forcing the individual to move to obtain relief. Continued motion, heat and rubbing bring relief, making this one of the first remedies to think of for RLS.
Tarantula hispanica: People needing this remedy are often excessively restless, over-stimulated, rageful and impatient. RLS symptoms often include twitching, numbness and jerking; and are made better by exaggerated movement, dancing, music, pressure and rubbing.
Zincum metallicum: The person needing Zincum often has involuntary movement of the legs accompanied by mental and physical fatigue. There may be twitching of the feet with trembling and a need to move the legs and feet constantly. The symptoms worsen from exhaustion, noise, touch and drinking alcohol; and are better with warmth and pressure.
Phosphorus: The individual needing this remedy may have cramping, numbness, stiffness and jerking of the toes and feet. Symptoms improve when the individual lays on the right side. The person is often mild-mannered, insecure, prefers company and is thirsty for large quantities of icy cold water.
Magnesia carbonica: Legs and feet often feel tired, achy and restless — especially noticeable after sitting in one position for many hours. There may be cramps and pains in the lower legs with weakness of the calves and jerking motions. The restless leg symptoms are made worse by changes in the weather and getting warm in bed.
Causticum: Restless legs at night are often accompanied by paralytic numbness and arthritic or rheumatic pains. There may also be tearing pains in the knees and ankles with cracking noises.
Arsenicum album: The person needing this remedy is generally afraid of being alone, chilly, anxious and restless in general. There is a feeling of uneasiness in the legs and they can’t lay still at night, feeling the need to continually move the legs. There may be leg cramps in the calves. The person is often thirsty for cold water and craves company.
Home remedies and treatments
· Stretching and walking exercise leg muscles
· Drink 1/4 cup of tonic water with quinine before bed; the quinine settles the nervous system providing relief
· Add black strap molasses to your diet. High in iron, it helps relieve RLS.
· Warm soaks in the tub before bedtime with Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, or baking soda
· Add foods rich in magnesium to your diet or take magnesium supplements to help reduce cramping
· Use hot and cold therapy to reduce cramping
· Implement relaxation techniques
· Add vitamins to your diet, especially iron — but only after speaking to your doctor and having a blood test for iron levels
· Have frequent massages to low back and legs
· Visit an acupuncturist, who may be able to help relieve symptoms of restless leg syndrome
· Reduce or eliminate caffeine consumption
· Use herbal relaxants — try chamomile tea, valerian, kava, mucuna pruriens
· Take B vitamins
· Wear socks to bed to keep feet warm and protected
· Check your medication to be sure RLS is not a side-effect
Sources for this article include:
Boericke, William; Materia Medica and Repertory; Jain Publishing, 1998
(Photo credit: Public domain)
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